Learn about Side Effects of Kidney Dialysis

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Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis

Kidney dialysis is performed to treat permanent renal failure. It comprises two types:

• Hemodialysis refers to a blood-filtering process in which a machine (a dialyzer) refines and removes harmful wastes from the blood. It will normalize the levels of fluids, minerals, and salts in the body in addition to controlling blood pressure. With that said, hemodialysis will replace renal function to maintain the work of kidneys. You must undergo each treatment within two to four hours for three times a week.

• Peritoneal dialysis refers to an alternative blood-filtering process in which a dialysate, a cleansing solution, is passed through the abdominal lining. The dialysate washes wastes and fluids out of the blood. It will be drained out of the abdomen a few hours later. Treatments are more flexible, and can sometimes be performed at home or at work. Dietary restrictions and medicines can be fewer than required for hemodialysis.

Side Effects and Risks of Kidney Dialysis

Side effects of kidney dialysis can be unpleasant or severe, but dialysis might save your life. Here are some side effects and risks renal dialysis can lead to:

• Fluid intake is very essential to your health, but consuming too much fluid for dialysis patients can cause serious side effects like pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in your lungs), and heart failure.

• Kidney failure affects the production of the hormone erythropoietin. Deficiency of the hormone may lead to anemia, which is a lack of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Erythropoietin serves to promote production of red blood cells. In addition, anemia can result from poor absorption of vitamins and iron due to dialysis.

• Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a dangerous condition resulting in renal failure. Once you have dialysis, you must abstain from consuming too much salt or fluid, as this can lead to chronically elevated blood pressure. Moreover, hypertension can trigger either stroke or heart attack.

• Hypotension (low blood pressure) is the opposite of hypertension in which blood pressure is abnormally low. Hemodialysis can cause a higher risk of hypotension for anyone who has diabetes.

• Renal failure can lessen the ability of your kidneys to absorb calcium with the help of vitamin D, which in turn will make your bones grow weaker. Further complication of renal failure, an overproduction of parathyroid hormone, is associated with the development of fragile bones by reducing calcium content in bones.

• The kidneys work to discharge extra potassium from your body. You are recommended reducing or quitting potassium supplements if you have renal failure because high level of potassium (hyperkalemia) can prevent your heart from working properly.

• Bleeding might take place from the access point where insertion is made to carry the cleansing solution into and out of the abdomen in peritoneal dialysis. The condition will lead to infections.

• Inflammation and irritation of the tissue surrounding the heart (pericarditis) can occur because of improper dialysis. This condition will result in dramatic drop in blood pressure and keep your heart from working naturally.

• The flu-like symptoms such as headaches, muscle cramps, and nausea might occur during dialysis. These problems can be alleviated by changing the intensity and composition of dialysis.

• Anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are common problems that might take place during dialysis.


Kidney Dialysis Information Centre: Risk and Side Effects during Kidney Dialysis - https://www.kidneydialysis.org.uk/risks.htm

Georgia Health Info: Potential Complications of Dialysis - https://georgiahealthinfo.gov/cms/node/130339

MayoClinic.com: Hemodialysis - https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hemodialysis/MY00281/DSECTION=risks

MayoClinic.com: Peritoneal Dialysis - https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peritoneal-dialysis/MY00282/DSECTION=risks


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